Novak Djokovic ERUPTS at umpire and demands a fan is warned after punter told Andrey Rublev to ‘send him home’ at the Australian Open… 12 months on from his deportation saga: ‘Can you tell this guy to shut up or not?’
Novak Djokovic has once again complained of fan behaviour at the Australian Open after his opponent was urged to ‘send him home’, 12 months on from his deportation saga.
The 35-year-old returned to Melbourne Park for this year’s tournament, having missed the 2022 event after the Australian government deported him due to his vaccination status.
Aiming to win his 10th slam Down Under, Djokovic made light work of Russian opponent Andrey Rublev in the first set of their quarter final on Wednesday night, taking it 6-1.
Novak Djokovic has blown up again at a heckler during his Australian Open match
But Djokovic was clearly upset by heckling from the Rod Laver Arena crowd and was heard urging umpire James Keothavong to take action after a fan was reportedly heard yelling: ‘Send him home Rublev, send him home’.
When Rublev was serving at 4-1 down, Djokovic said to the umpire: ‘Can you tell the front guy to shut up or not? Every point, every single point you’re not reacting’.
Then, after winning the first set, Djokovic continued: ‘I don’t mind if he is supporting him [Rublev]. But for three or four times in a row, he has said things about me.’
Djokovic has had his fair share of run-ins with fans during this year’s tournament, having complained of a fan who was ‘drunk out of his mind’ earlier on in the competition.
He took matters into his own hands during his second round game and told the umpire that the spectator was trying to ‘get inside my head’ throughout a tie-break against Enzo Couacaud.
‘The guy’s drunk out of his mind, from the first point he’s been provoking me,’ he said. ‘He’s not here to watch tennis. He just wants to get in my head.
Djokovic also asked the umpire: ‘What are you going to do about it? Why don’t you get security to get him out of the stadium?’
A security official was then seen speaking to a group of fans dressed as Where’s Wally to try to calm things down.
But the hecklers didn’t stop Djokovic from advancing to the third round, with the Serb defeating Frenchman Couacaud 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-0.
Speaking about the rowdy crowd, Djokovic said after the match: ‘What I have a problem with is when somebody’s crossing the line, numerous times … and saying things that were not respectful at all.’
Djokovic, who said the heckling had been going on for more than an hour and a half, added: ‘I had enough, you know?’
Meanwhile, Andy Murray faced a torrent of abuse from Australian fans during his match against Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Murray was furious that the match – the longest the Briton has ever played in his career at 5 hours and 45 minutes – entered the early hours of the morning in Melbourne, with the star finally beating Kokkinakis at 4.08 am local time.
As he sat down after winning the fourth set, Murray told the umpire it was ‘so disrespectful’ that the players aren’t allowed to take a break to go to the toilet when it’s 4am in the morning – and when they have been playing for over 5 hours.
‘I mean, do you know something,’ Murray told the umpire, as he raised his finger. ‘I respect the rules. It’s so disrespectful that the tournament has us out here until 3, f***ing 4 o’clock in the morning and we’re not allowed to take a piss.’
‘It’s a joke,’ Murray added, as the umpire nodded. ‘It is a joke and you know it as well. It’s disrespectful. It’s disrespectful to you, it’s disrespectful to the ball children, it’s disrespectful to the players. And we’re not allowed to go to the toilet. Ridiculous.’